Clark Hatch Fitness Center is an established fitness company in Asia with over 40 years of history. The first centre was set up in Tokyo before it moved to Cambodia, China, Guam, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. However, in Malaysia, the number of Clark Hatch Fitness Centers has decreased from 13 to 11 centres.
I joined Clark Hatch in the year 2003, and it is my first gym.
There, I learned about weight lifting, built my muscles and increased my weight (I was underweight then). I also made many friends there and had some gay encounters, which I will never forget.
In Malaysia, after the exodus of its members to other gyms, Clark Hatch has tried hard to catch up lately. It has introduced new membership packages for Klang Valley members:
- Titanium – Members are entitled to all clubs, including the Hilton / Le Meridian KL Sentral fitness centre
- Platinum – Members may use Mutiara Crowne Plaza, Mont Kiara, PJ Hilton and all Gold membership locations
- Gold – Members are entitled to use the centres at Crown Princess, Legend and Sheraton Subang
- Home Based (if I remember correctly, it is called Executive) – Members can used only one club
Regardless of the package, you can use whichever centers in overseas. I had Subang Sheraton home-based membership. When I was in Bangkok, I could go to any of the six Clark Hatch branches in Bangkok.
As for the monthly fees, they vary from location to location. For example, the monthly fee is only about RM120 for Subang Sheraton home-based package, but it can be as high as RM160 for Mont Kiara home-based package. Typically, Titanium is the most expensive and I heard that it is close to RM200 per month.
Members are not forced to sign up for yearly contracts. Those who can afford to pay in one lump sum for the 1-year package will enjoy the typical 9 months + 3 months promotion during year-end. In other words, you pay for 9 months and will be given 3 months free. The joining fee is usually not waived, and it is between RM300 to RM500, depending on the promotion availability.
Most Clark Hatch Fitness Centers are attached to hotels. Some of the hotels with Clark Hatch Fitness Centers are Hilton KL Sentral/ Le Meridien, Crown Princess, Mutiara Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Sheraton Subang, Hilton Kuching and Sheraton Penang Hotel. It is a win-win situation for both the clubs and the hotels. The clubs provide management, machines and instructors, whereas the hotels have swimming pools, laundry services (for the complimentary sports attire and towels), security guards and hotel guests.
In terms of marketing, Clark Hatch is not as aggressive as California Fitness, Celebrity Fitness and True Fitness. It does not have a dedicated sales team. The front desk person is the one who will explain the packages.
When I spoke to one of the fitness instructors, I was told a few members had left the club too. Most of them have joined Celebrity Fitness and True Fitness. In fact, she has been headhunted by one of the clubs. But, for the time being, she decided to stay. The reason is she has gotten used to the club management and members. The company subsidizes the parking fee and provides a meal allowance to the staff.
I hope that Clark Hatch will be able to compete. It caters to people who prefer privacy in a quiet environment. The market which it serves is different from others. Hotel guests and loyal members will be the supporters for its survival.